Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (517)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

517. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine with regard to the ice plant in Dingle, County Kerry, if a group of persons were to come together to open the ice plant, if his Department will agree to the following, that day to day cost and maintenance of the plant would be borne by the persons operating the plant, but that if new equipment was needed to be installed that his Department would foot this bill; if his Department will allow the diversification of the use of the plant, that is, for other harbour-fish related issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12582/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Until recently, BIM operated a network of ice plants in ports and harbours around the Irish coast, including Dingle, supplying bulk ice to operators in the seafood industry. However, the Board of BIM decided to cease the operation of these plants by the end of 2012. BIM is an independent statutory body and policy in relation to operational matters, such as this, is a matter for BIM itself.

I am advised that the Dingle ice plant was closed in September 2011. BIM then offered the plant by tender as a going concern in January 2012, but no tenders were received by the closing date.

In relation to the building itself I wish to advise that the ice plant building at Dingle Fishery Harbour Centre was designed, constructed and located specifically for the production of ice and is not suited to alternative uses.